Anne Liis Keelmann had some pre-election questions on political issues so she went to the committee room of Peter Kent, Conservative candidate for her Thornhill riding. There they agreed that the best idea to answer such questions was to have a meeting of Baltic-Canadian voters at the Keelmann's house to get right into all the issues. That meeting took place on September 26th.
Kent is an award-winning veteran journalist who has endorsements and respect from all of the top news anchors. He has been a radio reporter, television reporter, network anchor and foreign correspondent for CBC, CTV, Global TV, Christian Science Monitor TV and NBC. Currently Kent is the deputy news editor at Global News Network.
Some people even came from outside the riding, like Estonian Honorary Consul General Laas Leivat.
Kent spoke: "I've been a journalist some decades in Canada and the United States, network NBC. I became a politician in 2005 after going to the policy convention of the reconstituted Conservative Party. At the policy convention in Montreal I was impressed, I went in as a journalist and came out a budding politician because the party that had pulled itself back together, created a policy document that was fierce in terms of its fiscal conservatism but it had room for a spectrum of social conscience and allowed both members of parliament and the constituents they represent to reflect the priorities of the different parts of Canada both rural and urban, north, south, east, west. I was nominated in St. Paul’s in the middle of 416 and ran in the [January 2006] election. We knew that there was a mountain to climb considering the political conditioning of the 416 folk and we didn't climb it but we also knew that we would get great media coverage because of the novelty of a journalist running as a politician, which doesn't happen very often in Canada. “
Kent continued: “The sting of my personal defeat in St. Paul’s was more than compensated by the greater victory of (Prime Minister) Stephen Harper and the Conservatives. The past two and a half years have really confirmed my belief that Stephen (Harper) is one of the brightest prime ministers Canada has ever had [and] probably the most principled and consistent prime ministers that we've ever had. He often acts above my principal appreciation that is echoed across the country by others. He often acts ahead of public opinion; he doesn't pander to public opinion as so many governments in our recent past have. He sticks his neck out to where Canadian politicians have sometimes feared to go and has restored Canadian credibility among the community of nations.
Canada not only talks a good game, it participates and performs and argues and persuades at meeting and organizations like the G-7 and G-8 and not just on issues related to democracy in the Middle East, South Asia, Afghanistan, but in terms of environmental persuasion, production of green house gasses, in terms of public safety domestically, in terms of crime and punishment and recognizing for the first time victims of crime in this country who have for decades been the last people to be considered after the crime and the sentencing occurs."
Kent went on to explain the difference between the Liberal issues and those of the Conservatives and then spent some time answering questions from the audience. Much of the interest centered on municipal infrastructure and health issues. For more on Peter Kent’s positions visit his website www.peterkent.ca
Some days later, at a gathering of pundits at the University Club, long time New Democratic Party (socialist) strategist Robin Sears got into predicting outcomes in ridings (where the NDP was not contending) as to who would win. He predicted a victory for Peter Kent. Sears is often right.
Peter Kent addresses Baltic voters in Thornhill (8)